Who is My Neighbor?

Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Preston Adams, Regional Director - Central Area

Jesus said, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him,” 
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” 
-Luke 10 

An “expert in the Law,” a “religious leader,” asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life, and when Jesus tells the “religious leader” to love his neighbor as himself, the religious leader attempts to “trap” Jesus, “And who is my neighbor,” asks the religious leader. The story of the Good Samaritan and then the culminating dialogue is how this story ends.  

The Jewish people despised the Samaritans. Hundreds of years of ethnic hatred culminated in Jesus completely rewriting what it means to “love one’s neighbor." This is not just a call for two thousand years ago, but extremely pertinent for today. For even, the most despised, demonized, and hated among us are the ones we are called to love. 

In our cultural climate, it is easy to demonize, generalize, and stereotype and unfortunately, the most marginalized in our society, are typically the ones who bear the brunt of these attacks.  

Recently, I spoke with one of my guys about these experiences and perceptions:  

“People think we are animals and just gangsters but have they ever spent time with any of us??? They make judgments but don’t know the hell we live in on a daily basis. I am scared to bring my son into this world because of the hell we are living in but I am going to do the best I can to teach him right.” 

To some, this young man represents the Good Samaritan. Are we going to love him as we would love ourselves….? He is asking us to love him and his peers and not judge them…..will you answer the call….? 

Thank you for being a part of the ongoing conversation with youth in our city and helping us share God’s story.  It's our honor to be the storytellers on your behalf who meet kids right where they are and give life to their story. 

Providing young people in our community with the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and become part of a local church. 

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